Department of Public Service

FOIL Information



Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

Article 6 of the Public Officers Law (POL) is entitled Freedom of Information Law, commonly referred to as FOIL. It is New York State's principal statute providing for public access to the records of government. Despite its name, FOIL is not an information-gathering statute; rather, it is a statute for accessing records.

The term "record," as defined by POL §86(4) and applied to the Department of Public Service, means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for the Department, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes. Records are available for inspection between the hours of 8:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  A subject matter list of agency records may be found on FOIl - Subject Matter List.

Additionally, the Records Access Officer is also the privacy compliance officer and the information sharing manager (See 16 NYCRR §6-2.3 and Case 03-M-1241, Facilitation of Intergovernmental Cooperation Regarding the Exchange of Confidential Information, Policy Statement Regarding Provision of Confidential Information to Government Agencies, Order issued September 19, 2003, respectively).  Questions regarding personal privacy and sharing of records between government agencies should be sent directly to the Records Access Officer.

Further information on FOIL, as well as the Personal Privacy Protection Law and the Open Meetings Law, can be found on the Committee on Open Government’s website.



Contacting the Records Access Officer

The Records Access Officer (RAO) is the person responsible for responding to public requests for access to records.  For the Department, the RAO is an Assistant Counsel in the Office of General Counsel, currently: Jessica Vigars.  Her contact information is:

Jessica Vigars
Records Access Officer
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223
E-Mail: 
recordsaccessofficer@dps.ny.gov
Phone: (518) 486-2661
Fax:     (518) 486-5710



Submitting a FOIL Request

The New York State Department of Public Service is committed to prompt disclosure of public records to ensure accountability to the public and to promote public participation in activities and decision-making regarding public utilities.  If you wish to access a record or records under FOIL, you must make your request in writing. Be as specific as possible when describing the record(s) you are requesting so we can provide you the desired records as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Form may be downloaded in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF and you may send a completed copy via any of the following methods.

foil_req_form.docxfoil_req_form.docx foil_req_form (2016).pdffoil_req_form (2016).pdf

Mail to:
Records Access Officer
NYS Department of Public Service
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223

e-mail to:recordsaccessofficer@dps.ny.gov

or fax to: 518-486-5710

While the majority of the Department's records are public and may be accessed via our on-line file room, some records are submitted with requests for exceptions from disclosure pursuant to POL 89(5). In that event, a determination is made as to the entitlement to the requested exception.


Appeal of a FOIL decision or RAO Determination under POL Section 89(5) should be directed to:

Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess
Secretary to the Commission
New York State Public Service Commission Agency Building 3 Albany, NY 12223-1350
Phone: (518) 474-6530
Fax: (518) 474-9842
E-mail: secretary@dps.ny.gov




Fees for the Provision of Records

As set forth in POL §87(1)(b)(iii) and (c) and 16 NYCRR §6-1.2, except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute:

    1. the fee for copies of records from originals 8 1/2" x 11" and 8 1/2" x 15" shall be 25 cents per photocopy and
    2. the fee for preparing and reproducing any other record shall be the actual cost, which shall include only:
        • an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare a copy of the requested record;
        • the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and
        • the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when the agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy.
    3. Preparing and reproducing a copy shall not include search time or administrative costs, and no fee shall be charged unless at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record requested.

An additional written statement, from the requester/authorized representative, expressing consent to pay all applicable fees is required for requests expected to cost $100 or more.

Late Fees

Section 18(4) of the State Finance Law (SFL) authorizes charging interest on the outstanding balance of debt and a $10 late fee (on invoices 60 days past due).  Subdivision 5 of that section authorizes a collection fee that may not exceed 22 percent (on invoices 90 days past due).  Furthermore, SFL §19 authorizes a charge for returned checks.

Copying fees are not charged to:  (1) Federal agencies, New York State agencies (including authorities) or local agencies in New York; (2) other states’ Public Service Commissions or Public Utility Commissions; (3) Consumers, or their designated representatives, for a single copy of their case files; or (4) Requesters, where the records sought total fewer than 20 pages; this 20 page limit applies to requests of the same person, or firm, within any 30-day period


You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view pdf files.




See other web pages in the category: FOIL

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http://www.dps.ny.gov/foil_req_form.docx